Rice, Danville withdraw from girls basketball state championship games

Rice withdraws from D-1 final due to close contact, Danville due to positive COVID case within the team.
Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 10:05 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 26, 2021 at 9:20 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - COVID continues to impact the end of the Vermont high school winter sports season.

Thursday night, it was announced that the Rice and Danville girls basketball teams are withdrawing from state championship games that were set to be played Saturday in Barre. The Rice girls will not play in the Division One state final against BFA-St. Albans. Danville will not play in the Division Four title game versus Proctor.

On Friday morning, the Vermont Principals’ Association released a statement crowning BFA the Division One state champions and Proctor state champions in Division Four.

Thursday evening Rice athletic director Neil Broduer told Channel Three Sports via email that, “Today Rice was contacted by the VT Dept. of Health which let us know that there has been a close contact with a person diagnosed with a positive case of COVID-19. Due to this the team will be unable to play in the Championship Game.”

Rice, seeded 11th, had reached its first title game since 2014. For BFA, it is the first state title since 1993.

Also Thursday evening, Danville announced that it’s girls basketball team would not play in Saturday’s Division Four state final versus Proctor. That decision, according to Danville AD Randy Rathburn, was made due to a presumptive positive COVID case within the team.

In a statement released later Thursday night, Danville principal David Schilling said, in part, “The timing of these discoveries is unpredictable, and based on the best information available at the time decisions need to be made....These decisions have effects far beyond our town borders - while we’re acting to keep others safe, we know the effect is also devastating on our opponents, especially in a championship game. We thank Proctor High School for their grace and understanding.”

Danville was set to face Proctor in the D-4 final Saturday morning at 11am. Danville had reached its first state title game since 2008. Proctor shared last year’s state title with Mid-Vermont Christian after the girls basketball state finals were canceled due to the pandemic. Proctor’s last outright championship came in 2014.

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